Attorney General Mike DeWine reminded Ohioans today that the deadline is nearing to submit a claim in the agreement reached with a national vehicle service contract dealer. In July, Attorney General DeWine and 11 other state attorneys general announced an agreement with US Fidelis that provides $13 million in consumer restitution.
Along with an earlier settlement with Warrantech, a service contract obligor, more than $14 million is available in the Consumer Restitution Fund.
"The deadline to file a claim for most consumers is Oct. 5," said Attorney General DeWine. "We encourage any consumer who may have experienced a financial loss or received unwanted calls to file a claim in time for it to be considered."
To be considered for restitution, most consumers must file their proof of claim by Oct. 5, 2012. Consumers whose contracts expire after this deadline have additional time. Claims can be submitted at the US Fidelis bankruptcy website: www.usfbankruptcy.com. Consumers may also call the US Fidelis Customer Hotline toll free at 1-877-691-8477 with any questions.
According to the website, consumers may have a claim if they:
- Requested, but did not receive, a refund from US Fidelis;
- Had an unauthorized deduction from their bank account;
- Received the incorrect refund amount;
- Made a timely request for, but did not receive, a Money Back Guarantee refund;
- Received unwanted automated telemarketing calls; or
- US Fidelis made a misrepresentation to them in writing or on the telephone; or
- For any other reason a consumer asserts
The website also provides consumers with information on how these claims may be paid to consumers.
US Fidelis was a Missouri-based business that at one time was the nation's largest dealer for vehicle service contracts. However, on March 1, 2010, it petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In April 2010, Ohio and 11 other states sued US Fidelis and its owners for a variety of illegal actions stemming from its deceptive junk mail, illegal telemarketing, robo-calls, and misleading TV ads. The states alleged that US Fidelis's solicitations misled consumers into believing their auto warranties had expired or would soon expire and that they were being contacted by a manufacturer or other entity affiliated with their original vehicle warranty. Many consumers who thought they were purchasing a warranty with "bumper to bumper" coverage later found the contracts full of exemptions.
In November 2010, the states agreed to settle all claims against the company's owners if they agreed to turn over their assets to the bankruptcy estate.
Ohioans who believe they have been treated unfairly in a consumer transaction should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by calling 800-282-0515.